Woman recounts trying to save BART stabbing victim

Sophia Humphrey wants to study nursing. The student at Ohlone College in Fremont got a taste of what it'll be like when she rushed to help a good Samaritan who was stabbed on a BART train in Hayward.

"I do want to be a nurse, yes, that's my dream job," Humphrey, 22, of Fremont said Friday as she described how she found herself in the middle of a chaotic situation three days earlier.

"It gives me confidence that I can think in the middle of an emergency situation," Humphrey said.

It all began at about 1 p.m. Tuesday when she saw a man identified by police as Jermaine Brim stealing a shoe from a homeless man on the train. The good Samaritan, Oliver Williams, told him to stop, and the two men began arguing.

It escalated into a fight, and the suspect then tried to pull off Williams' shoes as well. The suspect didn't have any shoes on, most likely because they had been confiscated at San Leandro Hospital. He had been taken there by ambulance for a psychiatric evaluation, but he walked away from the facility, shoeless.

"He wanted and needed shoes and he was going to get them," Humphrey said.

Pinned on his back - and after what sources said was a pitched battle that lasted for several minutes, the good Samaritan pulled out a knife. But the suspect overpowered Willliams. 

"He managed to get a hold of the knife," Humphrey said, referring to the suspect. 

She said the suspect stabbed the victim repeatedly in the neck before fleeing the train.

Humphrey, who is legally deaf and uses a wheelchair, says she acted instinctively.

"I jumped down from the chair and came around to a position where I had the leverage to be able to put pressure on his wounds," she said.

She tried to keep him calm.

"I was asking him about, 'So you like the Raiders?' because he had a Raiders shirt and a hat, was he planning on going to any games, who's the woman on the tattoo on your arm?" she said.

Williams died, however, and the situation was chaotic, but Humphrey said she chose not to panic and kept her cool.

"But if you have a choice, you can also choose to, 'OK this sucks,' but getting upset or freaking out isn't going to accomplish anything," she said.